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Pony League World Series set for Highlands

HIGHLANDS – Representatives of the local PONY baseball/softball league made an exciting announcement at the Chamber luncheon last Thursday noon.

According to Benny Gonzales, PONY Coast Region Director, and Mike Dean, Highlands will host the PONY League World Series next year, from July 14 through 18th.

Dean said that up to 200 teams may participate, and all the ball fields in Highlands, Crosby and surrounding areas will be used to accommodate such a large gathering. It is expected that the event will have a large economic impact on the area.

If the event goes well, Dean said, it could repeat in Highlands every 2 or 3 years.

PONY Baseball and Softball is a non-profit organization with headquarters in the Pittsburgh suburb of Washington, Pennsylvania. Started in 1951, it is dedicated to helping young people grow into healthier and happier adults, primarily through the organization of baseball and softball leagues. Membership is open to children from age 5 to 18 and the leagues are organized with two-year age brackets.

PONY became an international organization in the late 1950s. Currently PONY has a presence in 21 countries.

Children at the Washington, Pennsylvania YMCA named the organization PONY, which stood for “Protect Our Neighborhood Youth.” This later became “Protect Our Nation’s Youth.”

Age divisions

•Shetland League (ages 4–6)

•Pinto League (7-8)

•Mustang League (9–10)

•Bronco-11 League (11)

•Bronco League (11-12)

•Pony-13 League (13)

•Pony League (13-14)

•Colt League (15-16)

•Palomino League (17-19)

Champions League

In 2009, the PONY Baseball and Softball International board of directors formed a new division—the Champions League—for children with special needs.